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As my adventures continued in and around the city of Pristina, Kosovo, I had a wild day that took me all over the city! Join me as I try a one meter burek and visit some of the historical, cultural, and natural attractions near Pristina, Kosovo!
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My day’s adventures around Pristina began around 30 or 40 minutes outside of Pristina at Ulpiana, an ancient Illyrian town. Only about 20% of the town has been unearthed so far! The Romans later conquered it and turned it into a typical Roman town with a Cardo Maximus (the main street in every Roman town), with lots of buildings.
There’s a beautiful path around the ruins where you can get a nice view of all the ruins. I could see the ruins of a late-antiquity basilica named Basilica Paleocristiana from the 6th century AD, the remains of a 2nd century pagan temple, and the northern gate.
It was a massive ancient town, and so much of it is still underground! Archaeologists are still excavating it!
Next, we drove to Gračanica Monastery, a UNESCO World Heritage Site 25 minutes outside of Pristina. It’s surrounded by a huge wall with barbed wire on top. Inside the walls is the church, a candle shop, and a souvenir shop.
Gračanica Monastery was built in 1321 by a Serbian king over the ruins of a 6th century basilica. It was declared a site of importance in 1990 and is really beautiful!
Then, we headed back to the capital to get some food. There was a lot of bad traffic on the way. It took an hour to get back into town.
We picked up our adventures the next morning after feeling a little sick the previous night.
I hadn’t eaten in about 24 hours, so we stopped at a small bakery called Furra Laura near the town of Gračanica, for a flaky, doughy, cheesy meter-long burek and some ajran. We met so many friendly, kind people there. Someone even paid for our breakfast!
Then, we headed to the Bear Sanctuary Pristina. Five minutes past Gračanica is a forested area with one main road, lakes, hills, and occasional small villages. It’s along the road from Pristina to Gjilan.
This was my first bear sanctuary! There, they house the Kosovo brown bear, which used to be held in cages in places like restaurants until it became illegal in November of 2010. There are 19 brown bears at the sanctuary! It only costs 2 Euros per person to enter.
Along the path through the sanctuary are signs showing information, including info on how far certain native animals can jump. The rabbits can jump up to 5 meters!
The sanctuary is open daily from February to December. The path makes you feel like you’re in a forest. Each of the bears here has a name. There’s a sign showing pictures of each of them, along with information about them.
Each bear has its own enclosure with huge, 15-foot-high fences. The first one we saw, Andri, was beautiful even though he was far away. There’s a lot of intense uphill treks up the path, and it’s pretty intense! It will take at least 90 minutes to see it all.
Then, we came across an enclosure with three bears: Emma, Oska, and Ron. They were sold as cubs to two families, and Four Paws got involved and brought them to the sanctuary. They’re so beautiful!
There’s also a small, 6×6 cage that shows what the bears used to live in. It’s really sad. Then, we saw Rina and Ari, two more bears. Some of the bears were a little scared of us, but others were curious and seemed to like watching us!
What an amazing evening and morning in Pristina!
Where have you been?
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My name is David Hoffmann. For the last 12 years, I have been traveling around the world in search of unique culture, food, and history! Since starting David’s Been Here in 2008, I have traveled to over 1,200 destinations in 80 countries, which I welcome you to check out on my YouTube channel, travel blog, and social media sites.
I focus a great deal on food and historical sites, as you probably have seen! I love to experience the different flavors that each destination has to offer, from casual street food to gourmet restaurant dining. I’m also passionate about learning about the local history and culture.
P.S. Thank you for watching my videos and subscribing!